Though we were cautious about the iPhone 3G's GPS capabilities when we original reviewed the phone, it has proven a handy navigation companion more than once. Though the GPS signal is admittedly slow and slightly inaccurate at times, it has a great satellite signal and offers the simplicity of Google Maps. Plus, with extra capabilities like Street View, 3G data and great search functions, it makes it much easier to find out where we are going and how to get there. Thanks to CLO Software's TrafficAU iPhone app, you can receive the SUNA Traffic Message Channel as well.
The HTC Dream remains the only kid on the Android block, but it has already demonstrated the new mobile platform's potential. The addition of Google Maps makes Android a true contender in the GPS smartphone stakes, providing simplicity along with detailed maps, satellite imagery and even directions for public transport (in Adelaide and Perth anyway). The lack of multi-touch for the moment makes GPS navigation slightly less fun, but it's still a great way to navigate from A to B.
HTC Touch HD
Given the simplicity and ease of use of Google Maps, it's no wonder that the application has cornered the GPS navigation market for smartphones. HTC's premium Touch smartphone is yet another example of this, giving users the detailed imagery of Google Maps on a high resolution screen with the additional functionality Windows Mobile has to offer. The smartphone also provides Whereis Navigator when you purchase it through Telstra. You're looking at $15 a month for the privilege, but the recent launch of Telstra's Whereis Navigator Traffic makes the service a lot more appealing.
If you're stuck on Symbian but still pine for navigation with a big G, then there are ways of getting Google Maps onto your phone. However, Google Maps isn't the only contender in the smartphone market, and Nokia is leading the way in providing an alternative solution with its own Maps software. The current stable version, Maps 2.0, works on Symbian S60 devices like the Nokia N96 and provides easy turn-by-turn directions and voice guidance with an interface that suits the smaller screens of Nokia mobiles. It won't rival the information available on a 4.3-inch widescreen in-car GPS navigation device, for example, but the Nokia N96 is an adequate GPS navigation device.
Nokia Maps 3.0 and Maps on Ovi
Thankfully, the fun doesn't stop with the Nokia N96. Numerous other Symbian S60 smartphones like the Nokia N85 and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic are compatible with Nokia Maps and, if you're particularly adventurous, you can even stay ahead of the curve with the Nokia Maps 3.0 Beta. It offers 3D rotation to better navigate around landmarks, as well as the ability to synchronise with Nokia's cloud-based sharing platform, Ovi. Nokia's continuing development of its navigation software ensures that GPS navigation is constantly improving on smartphones and challenging dedicated GPS devices.
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